Watchful Waiting for Meningioma

If a meningioma is small and causing no symptoms, your NYU Langone doctor may recommend closely monitoring instead of treating it. This is called watchful waiting.

During this period, your doctor may examine you every three to six months. If the tumor does not appear to be growing or causing symptoms, you can stretch out the appointments to once a year. During these visits, you may have imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan.

Some people may have a meningioma for years without having any symptoms. A period of watchful waiting ends when symptoms appear or doctors observe that a tumor has grown.

Small meningiomas may never grow or cause symptoms during a personโ€™s lifetime. This is especially true in older people, who may never need treatment for small meningiomas.

Even if meningiomas do not grow, they should be monitored for years, because they can remain dormant for a long time and then start to grow. This growth pattern makes monitoring especially important in younger people.

Younger people with meningiomas may choose a noninvasive treatment such as radiosurgery, rather than observation, with the goal of avoiding surgery later on as a tumor potentially grows.